Commentary

Top Performances of 2008

Updated: December 29, 2008, 10:58 AM ET
By Mike Loveday | ESPNRISE.com

It's cliché to say that big players perform in big games, but it also happens to be true. From Dunbar's Tavon Austin becoming Maryland's all-time leading rusher to his team's miraculous comeback in the Class 1A title game to the inaugural Crab Bowl all-star game, the 2008 season will go down as one of the most memorable seasons in Maryland high school football history.

MDVarsity.com is continuing its look back at some of the games, teams and players that made the 2008 season unique. Today we look at the top five performances of the 2008 season.

5. Connor Bruns (Loyola) vs. Gilman

The Dons' lost three-year starter Leon Kinnard to an injury the week before and Bruns was in his first year with the program. A transfer from North Dakota, Bruns stepped in to the starting quarterback role and completed 14-of-19 passes for 274 yards and four touchdowns as he led No. 3 Loyola to a 31-20 victory over then No. 8 Gilman.

4. David Emala (Gilman) vs. DeMatha

Gilman was looking to avenge a 42-0 loss to the Stags from the previous year. On the road, Emala carried the ball 41 times and rushed for 206 yards as Gilman defeated then No. 2 DeMatha 21-14.

3. Arlando Scott (North Point) vs. Lackey

North Point and Scott seemingly came out of nowhere this season. The Week 7 matchup with a playoff-bound Lackey team showed why the team had to be considered a 2A contender. Scott had 323 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries as North Point won 32-14.

2. Pat Balderson (Linganore) vs. Arundel

With Linganore in a shootout with Arundel and its high-octane offense, the Lancers turned to their senior running back. The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Balderson ran for 247 and five touchdowns on 23 carries in Linganore's 59-34 victory over Arundel. Balderson literally carried his team to victory.

1. Billy Cosh (Arundel) vs. Linganore

Even though it came in a loss, Cosh's performance still has to be the most impressive performance of the year. The junior put on a show during the Class 4A state semifinal game - throwing for a public school record 471 yards and five touchdowns.

The 93 points Linganore and Arundel combined to score is a Class 4A record and Cosh's performance set seven state records in the game.

He increased his record total for most touchdowns in a season to 56. He set the state record for most passing yards in a season with 3,909. He broke Nick Elko's record for total offensive yardage in a season with 4,074. Cosh completed the most passes in a game with 39, breaking former North County quarterback Mike Pfisterer's record of 38. He set the record for most passes attempted in a game, breaking Pfisterer's record of 58. He surpassed former St. John's at Prospect Hall quarterback Keith Ricca for most passes attempted in a season (448). He passed Elko for most passes completed in a season (292). Cosh broke the public school record for most passing yards in a game with 471 yards.

Mike Loveday covers high school sports for ESPNRISE.com. Mike can be reached at Michael.Loveday@espn.com

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